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As the first NFL quarterback to wear number zero, Marcus Mariota will make history with the Commanders.

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Even before taking the field for the first time in his career with the Washington Commanders, Marcus Mariota is about to make history in the NFL. He will wear jersey number 0 for the first time in league history, a historic move that will mark a pivotal point in his illustrious career.

Mariota signed a one-year contract with the Commanders during free agency, and on Wednesday, the team formally revealed his jersey number as well as the acquisitions of other noteworthy players. Recent changes to NFL rules made it feasible for the No. 0 to be reintroduced after being out of commission for decades, leading to this historic occasion. The decision to approve this non-traditional number came after a previous change that permitted single-digit jersey numbers for both offensive and defensive players.

The Jacksonville Jaguars’ dedication to innovation is demonstrated by Mariota’s groundbreaking precedence, which he created. Ridley, a wide receiver, was the first player to claim the newly accessible zero in 2023. More than twenty players in a variety of positions have since done the same, seizing the chance to wear the recognizable number.

Notably, linebacker Micah Parsons of the Dallas Cowboys first declared his intention to wear the No. 0, taking inspiration from NBA great Gilbert Arenas, who was dubbed “Agent Zero” during his legendary career. But in the end, Parsons stuck with his original jersey number, No. 11.

Mariota’s trip at thirty is marked by a preference for altering the record books. He was the first athlete from Oregon to win the coveted Heisman Trophy, and his stellar collegiate career came to an end in 2014 when he became the first Hawaiian recipient of the award. Nine seasons have passed since Mariota made the move to the NFL, which is evidence of his durability in a league known for its short seasons.

Since Mariota wore No. 8 while attending Oregon, he is accustomed to adjusting to different jersey numbers. In the 2015 NFL Draft, he was selected by the Tennessee Titans with the second overall pick; he kept the number when he eventually signed with the Las Vegas Raiders. After playing for the Atlanta Falcons in 2022, Mariota accepted the move to the starting position.

In an interview with NBC Sports Philadelphia, he said that during his most recent stay with the Philadelphia Eagles, he went back to wearing No. 8, a reference to the eight major islands that make up his home state of Hawaii. But Mariota’s arrival in Washington required another transfer, as wide receiver Jahan Dotson had already claimed No. 1 and running back Brian Robinson had No. 8.

In addition to marking an important turning point in NFL history, Mariota’s decision to wear the No. 0 jersey marks the beginning of a new phase in his professional career. With the Commanders owning the highly sought-after No. 2 selection in the next draft, there is much conjecture that Mariota may compete for playing time with a newly acquired rookie quarterback, adding a competitive and intriguing aspect to the 2024 campaign.

Marcus Mariota’s historic choice to wear No. 0 is a perfect example of his willingness to break rules and create new paths in the professional football world. All eyes will be on Mariota as he sets off on this historic adventure with the Washington Commanders and continues to carve his name into NFL legend.

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